Summary: Our goal as believers is to know God; not to merely gain information about Him; however, we want to know the "one true God" as He is, as He has revealed Himself, not as we imagine or presume Him to be.
Dakota Community Church
August 14, 2011
This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD.
This morning we begin a new series: “The Incommunicable Attributes of God”.
The scriptures make it pretty clear that God is not open to being addressed in ways that He has not revealed as acceptable.
Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, contrary to his command. So fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD.
We need more than a theoretical knowledge of God.
We want more than mere knowledge about God – our desire is to know Him; however in order to know Him we must gain knowledge about Him as with any relationship.
In the early stages of romantic relationships we want gain knowledge about the person as a central part of coming to know them.
“Tell me about your parents.” “Where did you grow up?” “Was your home urban or rural?” “Do you prefer country or rock?” “On the political front are you conservative or Liberal?”
We are not free to ascribe to God human characteristics or qualities as we see fit;
Anthropomorphism is any attribution of human characteristics (or characteristics assumed to belong only to humans) to non-human animals, non-living things, phenomena, material states, objects or abstract concepts – we cannot do this with God thereby creating a God in our image rather than the other way around.
God wants to be known by us AS HE IS!
To ensure that we may know Him as He is, He has revealed Himself to us in the Holy Scriptures and He has come to live amoung us – to redeem us – in the person of our Lord and Savior Jesus.
An unknowable God cannot be trusted. (What will He do and what is He capable of?)
An unknowable God cannot be served. (Will this sacrifice appease or enrage Him?)
An unknowable God cannot be worshipped. (Should I run to Him with open arms or hide away?)
A God of our own making is one who changes and adapts with cultural nuances.
A revealed God requires submission of us; when we encounter something about Him that we do not like – we must change our likes.
In this way HE is God – not us.
There are of course some “Communicable” attributes: those qualities that we share by virtue of having been made in God’s image.
Some of these include; spirituality, knowledge, wisdom, love, mercy, freedom, and beauty.
The separation between Gods incommunicable and communicable attributes is not razor-sharp or absolute there are often traces or shadows, fingerprints if you will of our former pre-fall state.
The “Incommunicable” attributes of God are those characteristics that He has revealed about Himself which we do not share.
Unchangeableness; the quality that renders change or alteration impossible; invariableness. Immutability is an attribute of God.
When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.
Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf.
Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.
1. Immutable essence
God is unchanging in His very being, His nature, who He is does not ever change.